- Contact Information
- T: 020 7491 8433
F: 020 7495 4606
- Opening Hours
Monday 9am - 7pm
Tuesday 9am - 7pm
Wednesday 9am - 7pm
Thursday 9am - 7pm
Friday 9am - 7pm
Saturday 10am - 6pm
Sunday 10am - 3pm
Bank Hol 10am - 3pm
- Store Address
- 49 South Audley Street
- In the Congestion Charge zone
- Fine wine available
- Free local delivery
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- Free glass loan
- Free tasting every day
- Metered parking nearby
- Store News(98)
- Vin de Constance 06/03/14
- Premium Spirits 03/03/14
- Malbec Luigi Bosca 02/03/14
- Portillo Malbec 02/03/14
- Focus on Malbec 02/03/14
- Wine of the Week - Paulett's Riesling 2011 17/02/14
- Wine of the Week - Catena Alta Chardonnay 2011, Mendoza 11/02/14
- Wine of the Week - Cloudy Bay Te Koko 2011 04/02/14
- Wine of the Week - Masi Costasera Amarone 2007 29/01/14
- Château Hosanna 16/01/14
- Harper's Q & A with Steve Lewis - Review of 2013 09/01/14
- Wine of the Week - Chateau Plince 2010, Pomerol 09/01/14
- Robert Parker's Sonoma Valley Review 2009-2012 09/01/14
- Remy CEO Leaves after 3 months in charge 05/01/14
- Wine of the Week - The Chocolate Block 2012 30/12/13
- Burgundy & Tuscany on the Rise 29/12/13
- Wine of the Week - Beringer Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 28/11/13
- Dont miss out on the deals 27/10/13
- What did the Romans ever do for us? 25/10/13
- Zinfandel 15/10/13
- Producer Focus - Qupe 13/10/13
- Fine Wine of the Week - Chateau Musar 2005, Lebanon 12/10/13
- Masi Campolongo 09/10/13
- Producer Focus - Isole e Olena 07/10/13
- Ten Minutes by Tractor 05/10/13
- Does vintage matter? 20/09/13
- Veuve Clicquot Vintage 2004 - It's a no-brainer! 19/09/13
- Pinotage 18/09/13
- AU BON CLIMAT 'BIEN NACIDO' CHARDONNAY, SANTA MARIA VALLEY 12/09/13
- Chardonnay Week! 06/09/13
- Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 03/09/13
- Moet Hennessey products back in stock! 28/08/13
- Château Grand Faurie La Rose 2007, St-Emilion Grand Cru 28/08/13
- Nebs flying visit 27/08/13
- Does size matter? 16/08/13
- Chateau Haut-Batailley 2008 Pauillac 5th growth Cru Classé 15/08/13
- Zinfandel? 12/08/13
- Château Pigoudet La Chapelle Blanc 2012, Aix en Provence 12/08/13
- We're open despite the scaffolding! 12/08/13
- New Fine Wines to Feast on! 09/08/13
- Interested in a FREE food + wine evening 07/08/13
- Picks of the bunch - special offers 06/08/13
- Jim Barry 'The McRae Wood' Shiraz 2009, Clare Valley 05/08/13
- Back of store revamp 04/08/13
- Weekend road closures 03/08/13
- Dream Chardonnay? 01/08/13
- Do angels really exist? 22/07/13
- Producer Focus - Sassicaia 04/07/13
- Dom Perignon 2004 - coming soon... 03/07/13
- 5 things you didn't know about Rose! 26/06/13
- Producer Focus - Château Talbot St-Julien 08/06/13
- Te Mata Cape Crest Sauvignon 06/06/13
- Producer Focus - Chateau Leoville Las Cases, St. Julien 05/06/13
- Party service you say? 02/06/13
- Vino Nobile di Montepulciano ‘La Ciarliana’ now on the tasting counter 28/05/13
- Henri Boillot's Meursault 24/05/13
- Iconic Rosé 23/05/13
- Stunning Sangiovese 19/05/13
- Sublime Rose 14/05/13
- Summer Tasting - What to expect 13/05/13
- On the Tasting Counter - Perfect Pinot Noir! 11/05/13
- A taste of Italy 05/05/13
- Highlight from the tasting counter 04/05/13
- Wine of the Week: Rustenberg Roussanne 2011 14/04/13
- Fine Wine Friday: Catena Alta Malbec 2009 05/04/13
- Wine of the Week: Corimbo Ribera del Duero 2009 04/04/13
- Wines of Spain tasting week 04/04/13
- We are closed on Easter Sunday 28/03/13
- Easter Offers 24/03/13
- Conde de Valdemar Rioja Parcel 24/03/13
- 2004 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 13/03/13
- Mothers Day Reminder! 03/03/13
- Wine Relief 02/03/13
- Beer of the Week: Anchor Steam Beer 18/02/13
- Wines of New Zealand Tasting Week 15/02/13
- The Spain and Italy Week - Our Favourites 10/02/13
- Premium Hennessy Cognacs now available 07/02/13
- Wine Trivia #1 12/01/13
- Top 5 Ways to Match Food and Wine 12/01/13
- Christmas Delivery Information 03/12/12
- Trade Customer? 06/10/12
- Vega Sicilia 16/08/12
- Why doesn't wine taste of grapes #1 - Malo 28/07/12
- Napa Valley in a nut-shell 24/07/12
- The sun's out... Time for some Rosé? 20/07/12
- Perfect Puligny! 14/07/12
- Rich, opulent, hedonistic and gorgeous! 13/07/12
- Bolly, darling! 11/07/12
- Pinot Pinot everywhere 09/07/12
- Margaux Vs St Emillion 07/07/12
- Deliveries over the Olympics 05/07/12
- Louis Roederer Vintage Champagne 2004 19/05/12
- Californ-I.A.!! 09/05/12
- Great British Fizz! 27/04/12
- Château Palmer 19/04/12
- New style sampling at Majestic Mayfair 18/01/12
- Ridge Vineyards 31/10/11
- Wines shipped, world-wide 25/06/11
Vin de ConstanceDate published: 06/03/14
The Vin de Constance is one of the most historic wines from South Africa if not the world. Dessert wines were first made on the Constantia Estate in the late 1660s and were celebrated in the literature of Austen, Dickens and Baudelaire. Produced in the oldest wine-making area in the Western Cape from hand harvested, shrivelled grapes. Fresh, floral muscat aromas with a hint of spice,and a rich, opulent palate of stone-fruits, nuts, vanilla, wood spices and honey. Well balanced by crisp acidity with a long, succulent finish. Drinking amazingly now if you cant wait, but would reward cellaring. I For my part i have purchased two and at £35 can you blame me?
Premium SpiritsDate published: 03/03/14
Some of our premium spirits in stock at the moment include:
Remy Martin £145 per bottle
Hennesey XO £140 per bottle
Martell Cordon Bleu £95 per bottle
Glemorangie 25yr old £250 per bottle
Glenmorangie Signet £150 per bottle
Chivas Royal Salute £105 per bottle
We do things a little differently here in Mayfair and this is just a few of the things we have including top Cognacs such as Richard Hennessey or Remy Martin Louis XI pay us a visit and see what else we have!
Malbec Luigi BoscaDate published: 02/03/14
Bodega Luigi Bosca was started in 1901, when the original wave of Italian winemakers had settled in Argentina, and is now in its fourth generation of family ownership. We all love a small family run winery holding their own! Vistalba is an important sub-region of Lujan de Cuyo, located at 990m above sea level. This wine is deeply fruity, with a dark and voluptuous feel, this is a fine example of Argentina's trademark style. Tightly structured, it brings together subtle vanilla hints, firm tannins and well-judged acidity, this really is great wine! Enjoy it with the finer things in life such as pan seared venison or a stew for the colder nights.
This top wine is just £10.65 on the current Malbec promotion that ends tomorrow!
Portillo Malbec Date published: 02/03/14
Bodegas Salentein the winery responsible for Portillo has one of the largest cool-climate estates in Mendoza Argentina, with 2000ha of vines, at up to 1700m above sea level. Their Malbec is grown at around 1050m. This multi-award-winning wine recently won Decanter's 'Best Argentinian Malbec under £10' trophy and it is plain to see why, an intense red-purple colour, with an equally intense nose of plum and bramble. Round and fulsome on the palate, delivering a swathe of ripe, fresh black fruit held together by lush tannins. This wine would be great with lightly spiced meats!
Currently £6.66 on the Malbec promotion which ends tomorrow!
Focus on MalbecDate published: 02/03/14
Malbec is a grape originating from France where it used to be used in Bordeaux blends to add weight and depth, it has now found a home in many areas of the new world; particularly Argentina. The Mendoza region has become renowned for its extraordinary Malbecs. With often a blend of grapes grown at different altitudes they can produce fantastically complex wines, wit the cooler night temperatures and exposure to large amounts of heat and sun during the day this variation gives the wine real depth full of dark brooding fruits. The "up and coming" area for Malbec at the moment is the mountainous central areas of Chile where the cool currents from the sea coupled with the altitude proving a great place to grow Malbec.
Wine of the Week - Paulett's Riesling 2011Date published: 17/02/14
This week we have Paulett's Riesling as our Wine of the Week - currently on offer at £10.99 per bottle when you buy 2 or more bottles.
About 1 ½ hours drive north from Adelaide is the beautiful Polish Hill River sub-region of the Clare Valley , home to Neil and Alison Paulett and their winery. The Polish Hill River region was named after the Polish Settlers of the mid 1800's. The area is blessed with a climate ideal for premium grape growing and the combination of consistently good winter rains, hot summers tempered by cool nights and a long ripening period produces grapes of exceptional flavours and balance.
Neil Paulett graduated from the Roseworthy Oenology course in 1971 and began working as a winemaker for Penfolds Wines in Sydney and then Rosemount in the Hunter Valley . With 10 years wine making experience behind him, Neil and wife Alison began their search for the place to establish their own family vineyard. After discovering the Clare Valley in 1981, they set about protracted negotiations to purchase what is now their property. The property had remained in the same family's hands from the 1860's until its purchase in 1983 and has a long history of vineyard production with vines being present for well over 100 years.
The property has expanded from the initial 47 hectares to 147 hectares and the on-going vineyard development now sees 25 hectares under vine. There is a substantial portion of Shiraz and Cabernet vines over 70 years of age and Riesling of 35 years and this their treasured resource makes up the back bone of the super premium red and white, the Andreas Shiraz and Antonina Riesling (Shiraz not produced every year, & Riesling yet to be produced) after these original settler family members. This connection with the past is felt very strongly and Neil and Alison understand and embrace the challenge of being custodians of the land for future generations. Son Matthew is now the Vineyard Manager and his ability to nurture both old vines and new is paying dividends. The exceptional quality of fruit produced is raising the standard of the wines even further.
In 2004 Pauletts celebrated the 21st Anniversary of operating their cellar door and receiving a producer's licence. The cellar door has become one of the 'must see' places in the Clare Valley, often described as having the most spectacular view from any cellar door in the country. "Twenty years ago, visiting a cellar door was not as common as now and we felt we had to offer that extra inducement to bring people to the Valley. Now it's just considered all part of the package, a welcoming cellar door, the premium wines and the spectacular views all enhance the sense of well-being that wine lovers have come to expect from Paulett's Winery" said Neil.
The range of wines produced has grown over the years in much the same way as Neil and Alison's interest in different varieties and wine styles. In addition to the staples of Shiraz and Riesling there is, a Late Harvest Riesling, Trillians Sparkling Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Cabernet & Malbec blend and a Cabernet Merlot. The constant refinement and attention to detail has led to the very high quality across this significant body of work.
Since the first vintage in 1983 there have been many accolades received from within Australia and internationally including the great 1995 vintage winning both the Top Riesling at the Hyatt/Advertiser awards and Best Riesling in the Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide. The 2003 was included in Phillip White's Top 100 Australian Wines scoring 93 points. When asked about these accolades Neil said "This kind of recognition against all-comers is particularly rewarding however there is just as much of a thrill walking into a restaurant seeing people enjoying a bottle of our wine".
Pauletts reputation for producing wines of finesse, elegance and intensity is justly earned and their skill and care can be seen consistently from vintage to vintage. Neil has a craftsman's sensibilities coupled with over 30 years experience making wine - and it all shows. The current release wines have a touch more roundness and generosity than previously and it's these subtle on-going improvements that have kept Pauletts at the forefront of Australian wine.
The vineyards are at altitudes of 480-510 metres above sea level with an easterly aspect. Soils tend from shallow red & grey loams over a slatey /blue stone sub strata and occasionally well-structured red clay. Drainage is good to moderate. We have five separate vineyards with ripening and harvest generally occurring mid March through to mid April.
The first run of juice is cold settled and quite clear juice is fermented at an even rate over a 15-20 day period to ensure flavour retention.
The wine generally shows quite citrus and lime flavours with a wonderful spine of mineral like acid adding great balance, length and finish. Typically the wines have a wonderful potential to age, normally well over ten years and in doing so show lovely secondary aged characters of toast and honey.Come in and try the wine - we have it in our Enomatic Machine for you to try now!
Wine of the Week - Catena Alta Chardonnay 2011, MendozaDate published: 11/02/14
This week, we have chosen a fantastic barrel fermented chardonnay form world-renown Argentine producers, Catena as our Wine of the Week. Please come in and try it for yourself - it's on our Tasting Counter this week.
CATENA ALTA CHARDONNAY 2011, MENDOZA
£18 – Buy 2 save £10 on selected Fine Wines
Catena Alta is an assemblage of historic rows within the Catena family Estate vineyards. The blend of these historic rows, like the marriage of sounds that create a symphony, yields a highly aromatic and elegant wine that speaks for the earth and the vines that have been tended by the Catenas for four generations. The Catena Alta wines can usually be drunk starting at three years after harvest and into the following one to two decades.
At almost 5,000 feet elevation in the Andean foothills, the Adrianna vineyard's calcareous soils and cool climate are the promised land of Chardonnay. The fruit from the Adrianna vineyard has a purity of flavors and a minerality that is particular to this vineyard and can not be found anywhere else in Mendoza. The nearby, gravel-covered Domingo Vineyard makes up 20% of the blend and has spent 14 months in French oak barrels.
Bursting with fruit and minerality. Tropical mango and pineapple alongside ripe pear and fig flavours. Notes of sweet spice enhances the rich palate and finishes with great freshness and a long length.
Whole clusters are pressed, and then 100% fermented in 225-500 L French oak barrels with natural yeasts at low temperatures. Wild yeasts. Aged for 12-16 months in French oak. 30% does not undergo malolactic fermentation. First, second and third use barrels used.
Wine of the Week - Cloudy Bay Te Koko 2011 Date published: 04/02/14
On the Tasting Counter as our first 'Wine of the Week' for February, comes the Te Koko from Cloudy Bay.
The 2011 Te Koko offers aromas of lemon citrus, bees wax and passion fruit flower. The plate is generous with layers of green mango, white pepper and flint; it’s richly textured but shaped by fresh acidity. Subtle tropical fruit and taught minerality linger on the plush finish. Te Koko is incredibly food friendly, complementing a range of cuisine. We particularly enjoy it with savoury dishes highlighted by fresh herbs or aromatic spice.
The grapes for the 2011 Te Koko were sourced from six Sauvignon Blanc vineyards located within the Rapaura, Brancott and Renwick sub-regions. The soils are predominantly free draining gravels requiring irrigation during the growing season. Batches of fruit from selected vineyards were picked according to their flavour profile, and the harvest of Sauvignon Blanc destined for the Te Koko took just over a week, commencing on the 5th of April from the stonier, warmer blocks around the winery.
A warm spring emerged from an unusually wet winter, providing the perfect conditions for rapid spring growth. Warm conditions continued and flowering occurred a week earlier than average in late November. Rainfall in November and December allowed for a high level of fruit set and strong bunch growth through January. These ideal conditions lead to heavy crops and therefore vineyards were ruthlessly thinned in late January to maximise fruit quality and advance ripening.
This is a truly remarkable wine, quite uncharacteristic of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but a wine that we believe is magnificent. Feel free to come into our store and try some.
Majestic Price: £32.50*
*Buy 2 save £10 - single bottle £37.50.
Wine of the Week - Masi Costasera Amarone 2007Date published: 29/01/14
This week we have chosen something to warm us up, as the weather Gods have seemingly headed south for the winter!
The 2007 Masi Costasera Amarone has got to be one of my favourite wines - full bodied, rich, well balanced and perfect with all my favourite foods!
Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara
Masi has been run by the Boscaini family for the past six generations, and their wines are rooted in tradition, representing the classic Venetian styles. This Amarone is made by drying the grapes on bamboo racks throughout winter, after which the dried berries undergo a very long fermentation period of around 80 days in total, in a mixture of steel vats and Slavonian oak barrels. Immensely full-bodied and complex, with intense and mature dry fruit aromas. Drink with game, mature cheese, or as a digestif.
The 2007 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Costasera emerges from the glass with intricate layers of sweet, perfumed fruit. Flowers, berries and spices develop over time as this nuanced, textured Amarone takes shape. High-toned floral notes add brightness on the finish. The 2007 is one of the best Costaseras I remember tasting. The wine can be enjoyed today for its exuberant, generous fruit or cellared for at least a handful of years.
Majestic Price: £30 per bottle
Château HosannaDate published: 16/01/14
This great wine comes from the right of the Gironde in Pomerol. Located to the south of Lafleur and just to the west of Petrus this wine reflects the fantastic terrior of this unique district.
Starting life as Chateau Cetain de May it was redistributed after the French revolution and acquired by the Giraud family; becoming Certan-Giraud and considered one the great crus of the region however more recently it had been under performing and was quickly losing that title.
In 1999 it was acquired by Christian Moueix famed for his work with Petrus and then his Californian estate Dominus. At the request of the Giraud family the name was changed and Moueix named it Hosanna for its feminine qualitys. Moueix rigorously set about change. About half the vineyard was sold, with the Moueix retaining around 4.5 hectares, and investment in the vineyard then began in earnest. A vast network of ditches was excavated, draining into two wells, from which the water would be pumped away. A tiny parcel of exclusively Merlot vines was also kept apart to become today's Certan-Marzelle, in an elegant tribute to the original name of the entire estate. A new era had dawned.
Under his leadership this wine has regained its former glory and is the great wine we know and love today!
Harper's Q & A with Steve Lewis - Review of 2013Date published: 09/01/14
In a recent interview with Harpers.co.uk, Majestic Wine’s chief executive Steve Lewis is “more optimistic” about 2014 than the year before, but doesn’t expect things to be easy. He tells harpers.co.uk what how Majestic differs from its competitors.
With 2.8% growth in like-for-likes and 5.9% overall for the 12 weeks to January 6, 2014, Lewis is “very happy” with the results. How did Christmas trading shape up?
“We had a good November, partly through self-help as every store [it has 203] had a customer tasting and invited along 70 customers and offered food from an Italian delicatessen. This is something supermarkets can’t replicate. We had a slow start to December, as Christmas fell on a Wednesday, but we came up with creditable results.”
The group’s most recent results – to the end of September 2013, show an average bottle price of £7.71 versus £5.22 in the market as a whole, and an average transaction spend of £127. What helps with hitting these sorts of prices?
“South Africa is performing very well – it’s up 28% and that’s mostly driven by new products. It’s got some excellent Sauvignon Blancs at £6 to £7 a bottle. Argentina is also up 27% - the majority of our customers have really fallen in love with Malbec. Sparkling wine is also up 15% - mostly from Prosecco and New Zealand sparkling but English sparkling has grown too.”
How does your sales mix differ from the rest of the market?
“New Zealand still wine is 18% of our sales, compared to 5.7% for rest of the trade. The other striking difference is France, which makes up 35% of our sales compared to only 14% in the rest of the market. We’re quite different from the market as a whole.”
How do you think 2014 will pan out?
“With regard to our trading, once we passed the anniversary of the Jubilee and Easter, we’ve been trading at this sort of level [as per Christmas] pretty consistently. The consumer is in a slightly better place than last year, but they’re still constrained. I’m more optimistic about the year ahead but I don’t expect it to be easy.
“Our fine wine, at £20 and over, has shown very significant growth. We’ve changed to focus on wines at £20 to £30 range versus £30 to £40. It now includes easily identifiable wines such as Brunello, Amarone and Meursault. Our largest selling fine white wine is Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc and in red it’s Viña Ardanza Rioja Reserva at £23.50.”
“In September and October our graduates join, and they all get to taste these fine wines, which gives them the confidence to sell them. Not every retailer can do that. That’s what makes us a major player in fine wine.”
What’s the plan for store openings in 2014?
“We will open four more by the end of the financial year, including one in Kettering and one in Leighton Buzzard, and we’re on track to open 16 this year, the same as last year.”
How’s the online side of the business performing?
“The key part of our online business is that it’s fulfilled through the stores. In June we launched a new platform and since then Click and Collect has been greatly enhanced. There was a very significant surge before Christmas when we couldn’t guarantee delivery before Christmas day.”For the link to the interview, click on the following link.
Wine of the Week - Chateau Plince 2010, PomerolDate published: 09/01/14
This week's Wine of the Week, as chosen by our team is the 2010 Chateau Plince, Pomerol. On offer at £35 per bottle.
Pomerol is, relatively speaking the new star in Bordeaux. Despite vines being planted there in Roman times, it was only considered useful for 'good common wine'. Even 50 years ago, it was not considered in the top flight of wine-producing regions.
Pomerol is a curious part of the world, and hard to find your bearings as there is no real village centre, and no large properties. The little chateaux are scattered around the only landmark, the church spire. Despite this, some of the greatest names in Bordeaux are found on the large, mainly flat, gravelly bank that neighbours St. Emilion. Names such as Petrus, Chateau Trotanoy, Vieux-Chateau-Certan to name three spring to mind.
The wines from Pomerol have made made a name for themselves by being the gentlest, richest and more instantly appealing clarets. They have deep colour without the acidity and tannin of the left-bank producers. The vast majority of vines planted in Pomerol are Merlot, rather than the tough-skinned Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes the wines more approachable to the consumer at a younger age.
The Chateau Plince 2010 is quintessential Pomerol. Rich, plummy and creamy notes on the nose, with flavours of cinnamon and spices tempt the consumer into a second, and even a third glass. Slightly higher acidity levels than a number of Pomerols would suggest that this wine will last a good decade to come, should you have the patience to wait!
Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Sonoma Valley Review 2009-2012Date published: 09/01/14
Having recently been trying to get my head round the delights of Californian wines, I came across this recent article by the 'Oracle' that is Robert Parker on Sonoma Valley wines from 2009-2013. Enjoy...
2009 - 2012 Sonoma Valley - Winefare for the Common Folk
Sonoma Valley is essentially the antithesis of Napa Valley - far more laid back, the home to winemaker/farmers as opposed to billionaires (although there are plenty of millionaires in Sonoma), an assortment of wonderfully casual restaurants focusing on the local wines and agricultural produce, and a diversity and geographic maze that is infinitely more complex and nebulous than Napa's exceptionally well-defined valley and AVAs. While Napa Valley is one of the world's epicenters for world-class Cabernet Sauvignon, that varietal plays a far less significant role in Sonoma. Whether it is the Sonoma Coast, Russian River or further north in Dry Creek and Alexander Valley, you will find Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Syrah and many ancient head-pruned vineyards planted in what is generically referred to as "Mixed Blacks." Not that there isn't some mighty fine Cabernet Sauvignon in Sonoma Valley, but most of it emanates from the Sonoma side of the Mayacamas Mountains or in the northern areas of Chalk Hill, Alexander Valley, as well as Knights Valley. As the following tasting notes reveal, and it's the most comprehensive report The Wine Advocate has ever published on Sonoma Valley, there is a remarkable diversity of wines in this beautiful viticultural region made up with endless expositions, micro-climates, etc.
As far as vintages go, readers should refer to Issue 209 for a recap of the most recent vintages in Napa Valley. Of utmost significance is that 2012 is the best vintage since 2007, and everyone in both Napa and Sonoma is raving about 2013. One salient point needs to be made about the 2011 vintage. Because Chardonnay and Pinot Noir tend to ripen much earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon, some of the enormous challenges the October rains brought to vineyards on the Napa Valley floor, did not affect Sonoma Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that was largely harvested before any damaging rains. It was a cold year in Sonoma, just as it was in Napa, and attaining full phenolic ripeness was something that had to be caressed and assisted by radical viticultural work, something the top producers in Sonoma are as capable of doing as their brethren in Napa Valley.
In short, 2012 looks consistent across all varietals, 2011 is very good to excellent for Chardonnay, above average for Pinot Noir, generally poor for Zinfandel (although there are many exceptions to that rule), and not so bad for Cabernet Sauvignon. 2010 may not be as strong overall in Sonoma as it was in Napa Valley, but it is certainly a very good vintage. Again, Zinfandel had some issues as did some Pinot Noir sites. 2009 has turned out well, but the star is 2012. Even if only 75% of the winemakers I talked with are correct, 2013 will eclipse 2012, and that is an appetizing thought.
Sonoma is a fertile source for endless values and realistically priced wines as the Cabernet Sauvignon prices have not yet matched the Shangri-La like prices of Napa Valley. About the tastings: All of my Sonoma tastings were conducted between October 21 and November 2, 2013.
Remy CEO Leaves after 3 months in chargeDate published: 05/01/14
The DrinksBusiness has reported that Rémy Cointreau has announced the resignation of CEO Frédéric Pflanz just three months after he stepped into the role.
The decision, which was made “for personal reasons”, will see Pflanz remain with the group as development director, allowing him to retain responsibility for “specific assignments that he has already initiated.”
Until a replacement is found the role of CEO will be taken on by Rémy Cointreau chairman François Hériard Dubrueil, who will be supported by the executive committee.
Prior to taking on the post of CEO, Pflanz had spent more than three years with the group as CFO, adding the role of COO to his responsibilities at the end of 2012.
This stumbling block for the group, whose brand portfolio includes Rémy Martin, Cointreau, Metaxa, Mount Gay and Bruichladdich, comes just over a month after it reported a 6.3% sales decline for the first half of 2013. The same period saw net profits fall by 20%, which the group attributed to a Chinese slowdown in sales of luxury goods.
Wine of the Week - The Chocolate Block 2012Date published: 30/12/13
£22 per bottle (Buy 2 save £10 offer)
Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Grenache, Cinsault, Viognier
An exciting blend of 5 grape varieties, from innovative winemaker Marc Kent. Dominated by around 67% Syrah, the grapes come from several specially selected blocks of vines on Boukenhoutskoloof's estate, fermented and aged for up to 18 months in old French oak.
An earthy, rustic nose gives up aromas of leather, earth and spices over a backdrop of blackcurrant and ripe raspberry fruit. Harmonious and powerful on the palate, with a cocoa and pepper complexity.
Most at home with spice-rubbed steaks, roast rib of beef, or game dishes.
Burgundy & Tuscany on the RiseDate published: 29/12/13
While the value of the fine wine market has declined for a third consecutive year, 2013 has been a good year for Champagne, DRC, Super Tuscans and Right Bank Bordeaux.
By the end of November, the Liv-ex 100 had fallen 2.5% to its lowest point in 2013, down 0.9% on a year ago, with the 2008, 2009 and 2010 vintages accounting for 52% of all Bordeaux traded in November.
But while First Growth prices continued to fall, more affordable Bordeaux from 2009 and 2010 saw positive movement, with 99-point Montrose 2010 and 100-point Ducru Beaucaillou 2009 among November’s highest risers in the Liv-ex 100.
The Right Bank also had a good year, with the Liv-ex Right Bank 50 and Right Bank 100 showing gains of 3.6% and 7.6% respectively this year with Pavie and Angélus showing solid price rises since their promotion to Grand Cru Classé A status last September.
Bordeaux continues to dominate the Liv-ex 100, though its value share has decreased in the last three years, down from 95.2% in 2010 to 82.6% today.
This shift illustrates how the marketplace is expanding beyond Bordeaux to other Old World regions, such as Burgundy, Tuscany and the Rhône as collectors broaden their fine wine horizons and lessen their reliance on Bordeaux.
Burgundy has expanded its market share from 1.2% in 2010 to 6.8% today, while Italy has grown its value share from 0.9% in 2010 to 3.3% today.
Liv-ex reports that its Super Tuscan index has risen by 18.6% this year, with Masseto and Sassicia proving star players, while the DRC index is up by 6.9%.
It has also been a sparkling year for Champagne, with the Liv-ex Champagne Index surging up by 10.7% this year, buoyed by a stellar performance from Louis Roederer’s prestige cuvée, Cristal 2004, which climbed 16.7%.
Given that yields in Bordeaux are at a 20-year low this year, expectations for the Bordeaux 2013 campaign are equally low, meaning it is unlikely that the campaign will provide the Liv-ex 100 with an upswing in the first quarter of 2014.
Wine of the Week - Beringer Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2010Date published: 28/11/13
With a number of Thanksgiving parties taking place this week, we have joined in the fun and chosen a great Napa Cabernet as our Wine of the Week.
In a nod to the winemakers of Bordeaux, Beringer have produced a Bordeaux blend that is quite beautiful.
This wine is a real treat - not just for American's - and will go very well with Turkey, or a good old fashioned Roast Beef.
At £24 a bottle*, this wine represents fantastic value for money, compared to the Bordeaux equivalents and will be a welcome addition to many cellars.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot
Chocolate, mocha, plums and spices come to life in this fleshy, mid-weight wine. People who appreciate a more mineral-inflected style of Cabernet will prefer the Knights Valley bottling, while those who appreciate radiant, fruit-forward Cabernets are likely to prefer the Napa Valley. Both are beautiful.
The blend is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% each Petit Verdot and Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020". 92 points. Antoni Galloni, The Wine Advocate.*£24 per bottle when you buy 2 or more bottles as part of our Buy 2 save £10 on Fine Wines offer.
Dont miss out on the dealsDate published: 27/10/13
Just a last heads up folks
Tomorrow is the last day of the current deals so if you love Spanish and South African wines then it's time to stock up as when you buy 2 bottles you save 20%.
Other big money saving deals are on champagne.
With Bollinger going down from £45 to £30 when you buy 6 bottles.
Also make your money go further with 1/3 off Oeil De Perdrix Rose NV, Canard-Duchene NV, Piper-Heidsieck Brut NV and Tattinger when you buy 2 or more selected Champagnes.
But just remember all these offers end at 7 tomorrow so make it count!
What did the Romans ever do for us? Date published: 25/10/13
What did the Romans every do for use?
Apart from the irrigation, civil planning, aqueducts, roads and concrete.
Well it also turns out they were the first people to realize the vine growing potential of the Bordeaux region, and from great vines you can make great wines
A quick guide for the beginner out there are Medoc, Haut-Medoc and within those regions are the sub regions of: St- Estephe, Pauillac, St-Julian and Marguax. These regions hold many a famous name such as Château Mouton Rothschild. Chateau Lafite or Latour.
From the right bank the areas of most note are Saint Emillion and Pomerol. With Pomerol boasting arguebly the most famous and expensive claret there is, Petrus.
Zinfandel Date published: 15/10/13
Often thought of as America's signature variety, it was brought over by the Austrian government from a Nursery in Vienna in 1797. It is however the exact same variety as Crljenak Kaštelanski in Croatia where it is thought that the Austrians got it from it in the first place. It is also the exact same grape as Primitivo predominantly made in Puglia the heel of Italy. It was first documents in Italy in the 1800's where it probably came over from Croatia; it's long standing home! So there we go often thought of as America's contribution it actually appears that it was originally Croation!
Producer Focus - QupeDate published: 13/10/13
Bob Lindquist turned a one time hobby into a full-time job when he established Qupe Vineyards at Santa Maria in Santa Barbara Country armed with a bank loan and enthusiasm. Qupe now produces 20,000 cases a year. All the Qupe grapes are sent to the same winery as those of Au Bon Climat. He is a specialist in Syrah and southern Rhone belnds. He produces 3 different bottling of Syrah - Central Coast, Los Olivos (blended with 40% Mourvedre) and Bien Nacido. His standard Syrah is currently included in the buy 2 save £10 fine wine deal at £18 whilst we have two bottles left of his Bien Nacido at £19.99 per bottle!
Fine Wine of the Week - Chateau Musar 2005, LebanonDate published: 12/10/13
This iconic wine is made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, and Carignan grapes.
Lebanese wine might seem obscure, but viticultural roots in Lebanon go back over 6000 years. Château Musar is a uniquely different wine from in the Bekaa Valley, produced by master winemaker Serge Hochar. Concentrated plum and blackberry fruit, hints of fig, prune, distinct liquorice and spice are the hallmark flavours of Musar.
It has firm but fine tannins, good acidity and body, is vibrant and fresh with streaks of cedar and cinnamon. Musar is also known for its long finish .Château Musar will last for decades and can be enjoyed with everything from French-style roast lamb, to North-African cuisine.
AVAILABLE TO TRY ONT HE TASTING COUNTER - contact staff for more details.
Masi CampolongoDate published: 09/10/13
The Campolongo is made by renowned Amarone producer Masi. This Venetian winery is a true family business run by the Boscani Family. Sandro Boscaini is company President and Managing Director, his daughter Alessandra is in charge of sales and administration, his son Raffaele Marketing Manager and his brother Bruno is Production and Plant Manager. The Campolongo di Torbe vineyard can trace its routes back to the 7th Century. It is south-west facing with old dry stone walls (marogne) shoring up the terraces.The Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes produced here are dried on bamboo racks (arele) in technologically well-equipped drying lofts near the vineyard. This really is one of the ultimate expressions of Amarone. In stock and £80 per bottle.
Producer Focus - Isole e OlenaDate published: 07/10/13
Isola et Olena is a superb Tuscan estate run by Paolo de Marchi, and is another property that has seen a dramatic rise in quality over the last few decades. Paolo's family, originally from Piedmont, purchased the estate in the 1960s. His attention to detail in both the vineyard and the winery was the driving force that turned quality around. Their Flagship wine Cepparello is one of the best expressions of what pure Sangiovese can be. Often described as the Haut-Brion of Tuscany this really is a special wine. Currently in stock at £50 per bottle.
Ten Minutes by Tractor Date published: 05/10/13
Ten Minutes By Tractor
This Mornington Peninsular (South west Australia) producer has one many awards for its wine and its acclaimed cool climate chardonnay is considered superior to many Burgundy producers. This producer is testament to the fact that the Aussies can produce more complex fresher styles of chardonnay than the heavy use of oak that tarred their name. In stock now their estate Chardonnay at £30 or the Single Vineyard ''Wallis'' Chardonnay at a mere £40!
Does vintage matter?Date published: 20/09/13
The short answer to this question is yes! Vintage can affect the wine produced in a number of ways:
Most obviously, the climatic conditions during the course of the year will have a huge affect on the quality of the grapes picked at harvest time. Hot growing seasons with long sunshine hours will help the grapes to ripen and increase their sugar levels which will in turn lead to higher alcohol wines after fermentation. Adversely cold, wet years can produce grapes that don't fully ripen and will have a higher acidity content. This can be tasted in the final wine.
Vintage champagne commonly displays the traits of that particular year, normally a more unique style than the typical house label which will be blended from wine from various years in order to produce a consistent style.
So called "stellar vintages" of sought after wines, such as those from Bordeaux and Burgundy, can lead to a flurry of demand which can ultimately drive up prices.
So, now you now, vinatage does matter!
Veuve Clicquot Vintage 2004 - It's a no-brainer!Date published: 19/09/13
The last few bottles of Veuve 2004 are on an incredible offer for a short time only: 1 bottle £60, buy 2 save 50% (equivalent to £30 each). No doubt about it, this sort of mature, developed champagne at this price, is VERY rare. Snap up the bargain of the year while you can (while stocks last!)
PinotageDate published: 18/09/13
Some people in the world of wine seem to have a hang up about Pinotage ( originally a crossing of Pinot Noir and Cinsault that the South Africans made.) Its a marmite grape, you either love it or hate it! Well I love it. Listening to South Africans wine makers share their passion for it and tasting some of their best offerings you can't help but be drawn in. A full bodied wine with real structure framing a wealth of dark fruits; blackberry and blackcurrant falling over dark cherry with just a hint of chocolate on the finish is what you expect from a good Pinotage. It has huge ageing potential and most producers like to age even the entry level offerings to smooth and mellow it all out.
As you can tell i'm sold and with South Africa on 25% off (when you buy any 2 South African wines) it is the perfect opportunity to try some and see if you are too!
AU BON CLIMAT 'BIEN NACIDO' CHARDONNAY, SANTA MARIA VALLEYDate published: 12/09/13
This is an extremely elegant and sophisticated Chardonnay from one of the best vineyard sites in California's Central Coast region.It boasts a sensational nose full of ripe apples, toast, lemon curd and a restrained touch of oak.On the palate this is a wonderfully textured, fresh and long wine.
It would work perfectly with chargrilled chicken and roasted vegetables for a Sunday lunch time treat.
Chardonnay Week!Date published: 06/09/13
Just a quick reminder to let you know our the tasting week kicks off today, with the tutorials tomorrow afternoon at 12 and 3pm! Come in for a chance to try some New World + Old World, oaked and Unoaked from our range!
Hamilton Russell Chardonnay Date published: 03/09/13This South African estate's extreme southerly location and proximity to the sea makes it a superb place for creating wines with Old-World restraint and finesse. Of the estate's 170ha, only the best 52ha of stony, clay-rich soil have been selected for all vineyard plantings.
A tightly structured mineral tinged wine, with pear like fruit focused by dryness with intensive acidity that carries the length. This is barrel fermented and then aged on its lees for 9 months adding rich complecity to this stunning wine!
Moet Hennessey products back in stock!Date published: 28/08/13
This morning we received a delivery from the lovely people at Moet Hennessey, so your favourites (and ours) are now back:
Veuve Clicquot Brut N/V - still only £30!
Ruinart Blanc de Blancs - £50 on the champagne multi-buy deal!
Belvedere Vodka - premium vodka great value at £30!
Now you know it's here what are you waiting for? Place your orders now!
Château Grand Faurie La Rose 2007, St-Emilion Grand CruDate published: 28/08/13
I tried this for the first time at a friends house on Saturday night - very impressed. For those who like their Bordeaux's on the softer side, this predominantly merlot blend has fresh black fruits with hints spice and cedar and has a lovely smooth finish. An elegant wine with soft well integrated tannins. Good value at £15.99 when you buy at least two bottles.
Nebs flying visit Date published: 27/08/13Following our recent article on bottle sizes, the Veuve Clicquot Nebuchadnezzar (the 20 bottle bottle of Champagne) came into store for a brief visit before goint to its new home. Here's a pic of it next to it's smaller family members, all the way down to a half bottle. (Sadly it was all nicely wrapped up in it's nice wooden box, but you can get an idea of the size!).
Does size matter?Date published: 16/08/13
Today we sold a Nebuchadnezzar, in other words a very large bottle of Champagne that actually contains 20 standard bottles,15 litres, approx. 160 glasses, average weight 83 pounds! Pretty exciting and I was curious to learn how big these bottles could get.
As well as the the traditional and often legally required 750ml bottle, the larger format bottles are:
Magnum: 2 bottles
Jeroboam: 4 bottles
Rehoboam: 6 bottles
Methuselah: 8 bottles
Salmanazar: 12 bottles
Balthazar: 16 bottles
Nebuchadnezzer: 20 bottles
There are then some even larger but very rare size bottles, sometimes made for special occasions:
Solomon: 24 bottles
Primat: 36 bottles
Melchizedek: 40 bottles
Some fittingly impressive names in that list, a lot of which originate from biblically inspired figures, no one seems to be exactly sure why.
Big bottles certainly cause a real wow factor and are great for the publicity of such a premium luxury product, but are they style over substance? To create the bubbles in Champagne, the wine has to go through a second fermentation process in the bottle and once this is completed the bottles must be gradually rotated so all the Lees (or dead yeast) can be gathered in the neck of the bottle before being removed. This process becomes very difficult in any bottle bigger than a magnum, so most Champagne houses can't do it. Instead the champagne must be transferred from the magnum into larger bottles which can result in a loss of pressure. Some believe that this may result in more oxidation, meaning that the the Champagne from the larger bottles is inferior to those in smaller bottles.
One day I'll hopefully get the chance to taste and compare a small bottle versus one of the giants and I'll get back to you on that point. In the meantime I'll just enjoy the excitement of selling the odd large bottle when I get the chance.
Chateau Haut-Batailley 2008 Pauillac 5th growth Cru Classé Date published: 15/08/13
Fantastic value classed Bordeaux from the prestigious Pauillac appellation. This is the sister wine of Chateau Batailley and really is a stylish slightly softer alternative!!
Classic left bank blend based on Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Blackberry and blackcurrant fruits are enhanced by those wonderful flavors of truffle, cigar and pepper that only come with age!
Ready to enjoy now with a hearty Sunday roast.
Zinfandel?Date published: 12/08/13
My red wine education continues and I tried a red Zinfandel for the first time at our tasting counter today. Now I did realise that Zinfandel (also known as Primitivo) grapes are widely grown in California and typically produce red wines, but I was more familiar with the blush style rose wine it produces which is abundantly popular but personally too sweet for my tastes.
Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel, 2012 red wine, which has just arrived at our Mayfair store and is currently on the tasting counter, is juicy with dark cherry and strawberries, has a hint of pepper and chocolate and has an enjoyable warm and smooth finish. At £14.99 when you buy two bottles or more it's a really good buy. Pop in and try it.
Château Pigoudet La Chapelle Blanc 2012, Aix en ProvenceDate published: 12/08/13
At this time of year rosé wine is incredibly popular and rose from Provence is something people are very familiar with. At the weekend I was umming and ahhing as to what I should take to a BBQ. I love rosé and but I wanted something a litte different but still light and refreshing. I came across La Chapelle Blanc, 2012 from Chateau Pigoudet, a white wine from an estate in a picturesque valley that benefits from sunshine all year round.
This wine really appealed to me - it was described as 50% Vermentino, a grape typically used to produce light aromatic wines and 50% Sauvignon Blanc. Surely a wine combing these grapes varieties and from Provence, well known for it's light, delicate red fruit rosés would be something I'd enjoy? I wasn't disappointed it was very refreshing with the citrus flavour from the Sauvignon which blended perfectly with the soft aromatic finish of the Vermentino. Lovely as an apéritif or to enjoy at a party with or without nibbles or with poultry or salads. And at £8.99 if you buy two bottles it's good value too. Writing this makes me want to try it all over again.
We're open despite the scaffolding!Date published: 12/08/13
From Monday August 12th major building works will be taking place above the store. This means there will be scaffolding erected aorund the exterior of the shop front. But don't worry, we are OPEN AS USUAL for business and entry to the store is unimpeded. So, please, take no notice and continue your normal Majestic shopping habits. See you inside!
New Fine Wines to Feast on!Date published: 09/08/13
Bringing to you the most exciting new fine wines we have in stock:
Pouilly-Fume Cuvee Silex 2011, D. Dagueneau £75
Sauvignon Blanc really doesn't come any better than this. Rigorous selection of fruit from low yielding vines is what sets this wine apart. Classic Loire Sauvignon aromas including cut grass and a precision mineral quality of superb intensity and finesse lead onto a truly marvellous finish that stays with you long after your glass is finished. A remarkable wine.
Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Napa, California £100
Deep, dark, and extravagantly concentrated. The 2009 Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon displays everything that is good about Californian Cabernet. It's almost a crimson red colour in the glass with concentrated aromas of cassis, plum, cocoa, and dark berry fruits underpinned by a toasty oak backbone on the palate.
If there is anything you like just let us know, we'll see if it's something we can possibly get for you.
Interested in a FREE food + wine eveningDate published: 07/08/13
Here at majestic Mayfair we not only sell wine but we also teach wine! We offer a free course, taken by members of our WSET qualified team, introducing you to the world of wine where you learn the following:
The Anatomy of a Grape
Classic Varieties & Regions
How Champagne is made
Food and Wine Matching
The Wine Course is ideal for groups of 5-6, normally beginning at 6pm and lasting 1.5 hours approximately. If you would like to book a date or find out more information please call us or send an email and we'll be happy to help!
Picks of the bunch - special offersDate published: 06/08/13
With a series of new offers for late summer, we thought we'd give you our choices of the very best current offers:
Veuve Clicquot NV Brut £37 £30 - Veuve really stands out among non-vintage Champagne not just because of it's bright orange label! It is aged for almost twice the minimum time required and balances subtlety with true power. A real celebration fizz.
Rioja Reserva, Vina Pomal 2008, Spain. £9.99 (multibuy) - Consistently one of the best producers in Rioja in our opinion, the 2008 is packed full of red and black berry flavours balanced by a classy velvety long finish. Heaven with rack of roast lamb.
Montagny 1er Cru "Les Millieres", Buxy. France £9.99 (multibuy) - A classic leaner style white Burgundy really showcasing the Chardonnay grape. Fresh and soft, we picked up beautiful peach and pear notes on the palate. Perfect on its own.
Peroni Nastro Azzuro 24*330ml bottles £28.80 £24 - Packed with real flavour, Peroni is good because it avoids the blandness of some of its comtemporaries whilst retaining lightness and freshness.
Jim Barry 'The McRae Wood' Shiraz 2009, Clare ValleyDate published: 05/08/13I'm still finding my feet with red wines and even though I'm struggling to fully appreciate the joys of Bordeaux, I have over the last couple of weeks become a convert to the rich, bold, fruity, voluptuous Aussie Shiraz's we have on offer. I think for someone fairly new to red wines, although they are pretty full on, they are still pretty accessible and very enjoyable.
This rich full bodied Aussie Shiraz from the picturesque Clare Valley screams black fruits, cherry, a touch of pepper and menthol and even cigar box and is immensely quaffable, ideal for a BBQ or some game or venison. It's on our tasting counter now so if you are quick pop in and give it a try!
Back of store revampDate published: 04/08/13
Last week Daniel and Toby undertook the task of rebuilding our Chile, South Africa, Rose, Argentina, and Spain sections at the back of the store. No small job I assure you! Merchandising is a bit like a big 3D jigsaw puzzle, moving around boxes and fitting them into space available whilst keeping everything uniform, stable, and easy to get to. The end result is a clearer, more organised display of the lines we stock, hopefully making it easier for you the customer to browse and find what you are looking for!
So next time you pop in, take a look round the back and see if you notice the difference, and let the boys know what you think!
Weekend road closuresDate published: 03/08/13
Due to this weekend's Prudential Ride London we may be unable to deliver to certain parts of our area. Check the TFL website to see if your area is affected. Please call us if you are unsure as we may still be able to get to to you.
Dream Chardonnay?Date published: 01/08/13
I managed to try the Dreams Chardonnay, 2009 by Jermann at our Notting Hill Branch yesterday. I'd been keen to try this for a while, it sells well at our Mayfair store and people speak very highly of it.
Chardonnay is the world's most famous white wine varieties and also one of the most widely planted. Arguably it's also probably one of the most controversial wines - a lot of people are convinced they don't like Chardonnay. Amongst my peer group I believe it harks back to a time when Chardonnays of a dubious amber colour were popular in pubs and supermarkets back in the 90's. These 'smack you over the head with an oak mallet' examples put me and a lot of people off for a long time. Old prejudices die hard it seems, but this was a long time ago and things have moved on to say the least. Chardonnays vary massively and the variety of styles available is impressive. The use of oak (bad or otherwise) is up to the winemaker and not down to the grape variety. From the world famous examples from Burgandy, which can have crisp, apple, minerality qualities with or without a suble touch of oak to the more pineapple and tropical examples from the new world, I think there's a Chardonnay for everyone. Failing that, remember it's one of the grapes used in Champagne! All in all well worth another try I'd say.
The Dreams Chardonnay, 2009 by Jermann is an Italian variety from Friuli, the North East corner of Italy. Silvio Jermann is a renouned winemaker from this area. The Dreams is delicious, it is aged in oak barrels but it is subtle, well balanced, has a lovely, almost floral intensity with some peach and honey. It's smooth, with a long finish but still very accessible. It's not cheap at £35 a bottle but I would certainly recommend it to Chardonnay lovers and encourage critics of Chardonnay to try it if possible, it may just change your mind.
Do angels really exist?Date published: 22/07/13
Purple ones from Chile do! At least currently on our tasting counter in Mayfair and today I was lucky enough to try the Purple Angel Carmenère 2010 by Montes from Chile. This was a tasting of firsts for me 1) I had never tried the Carmenère grape or Petit Verdot grape varieties (or even heard of them until very recently) and 2) I'm not sure I have ever tried a red wine of any variety over £10 from Chile.The Purple Angel is made up of 92% Carmenère grape and 8% Petit Verdot. Carmenere is a variety with a very interesting history; originally from Bordeaux it was thought to have been wiped out by Phylloxera (a nearly microscopic root insect that attacks vines) in 1880. However, it re-appeared in Chile over a hundred years later and is thriving particularly well in the Chilean climate.
Luckily for us, as the Purple Angel is a pleasure to drink. The deep silky purple colour and medium intense aroma hint at the dark berry flavours to come and it doesn't disappoint. It is rich in dark berry fruits, particularly blackcurrant and blackberry. It's aged for 18 months in oak which adds slight hints of tobacco and a little spice.
Perhaps spending over £25 on a Chilean red might not be the first thing to come to mind, but with its long finish and good balance between fruit and oak this is a smooth, well rounded wine this would be a pleasure to drink with BBQ meats or roast beef.
Producer Focus - Sassicaia Date published: 04/07/13Producer Focus - Sassicaia
First produced by Mario Incisa della Rocchetta in 1948 it was the first of the 'Super Tuscan' Bordeaux style reds and little did he know the fame this wine would acheive! The name came from the area first planted with it loosely translated to 'stony field.' Made in Bolgheri to the south of Livorno is Tuscany the grapes are taken from several vineyards in that area with the current vintage being around 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc. Anual production is around 180,00 bottles.There was an original legend that the first cuttings of the wine had been taken from the Mouton Rothschild estate but this was dismissed when the family said the orignial cuttings had been taken from 50 year old vines near Pisa.
The wine shot to fame when a Panel of judges including Hugh Johnson, Serena Sutcliffe and Clive Coates in the 1978 Decanter tasting of "great clarets", awarded the 1972 Sassicaia victory over a field of 33 wines from 11 countries including various notable first growths.In 1994 Sassicaia was granted its own DOC (Sassicaia DOC), the only wine from a single estate in Italy to acheive this after starting out as Vino de tavola (the Italian classification equivalent of table wine) in the beginning thats pretty good going!
This wine will reward time in the cellar and older vintages develop notes of black cherry liquor with an earthy spice this wine is big and powerful but something of a sleeping giant give it a few years to wake up and you will have a wine memory that will last for a lifetime much like the bottle! A true wine great!
2007 Vintage currently – 190 per bottle
2010 Vintage currently – 130 per bottle
Dom Perignon 2004 - coming soon...Date published: 03/07/13
Last night after a long day at work I had the pleasure of taking part in a Dom Perignon tasting at Moet Hennessey HQ in Belgravia. This was to showcase the new release "Dom Perignon 2004" which will be coming onto the market and into our store later this summer.
The 2004 was tasted alongside the current 2003 release and then we were treated to the incredibly luxurious Dom Perignon 2000 Rose.
Dom Perignon 2004 is certainly a departure from the 2003 and 2002 vintages, and feels more like a return to classic Dom Perignon, which is all about balance and precision. Subtle almond aromas abound on the nose and there is a pure fruit core backed up and weighted nicely by a backbone of well judged acidity. On the palate it is reminiscent of very high quality still white Burgundy and the fine bubbles add an extra dimension. It is contrast to the 2003 which is rounder and broader on the palate.
Only produced in minute quantities, this blend is just over half Chardonnay grapes and the rest Pinot Noir. A shimmering amber and salmon colour in appearance, the bouquet is complex yet delicate. I could pick out notes of licquorice and cinnamon in amongst the heady perfume. This should continue to develop further over the next 5 years, it is a perfect example of harmony and balance.
So, all in all, a glorious range which demonstrates the pinnacle of excellence in champagne. Please get in touch if you would like to know more.
5 things you didn't know about Rose!Date published: 26/06/13
ROSE TASTING WEEK
We are gearing up for a week dedicated to wonderful Rose beginning this Friday the 28th running until Thursday next week. So, to whet the appetite we have scoured the wine world for interesting Rose wine facts.
Here are five of the best!
1. Some of the earliest red wines documented in history were similar in appearance to modern day rose.
2. The method of blending the must from red and white grapes to create rose wine is known as "Saignee" in France which literally means "Bleeding off"
3. The "Vin Gris" style of rose involves no maceration (time grape juice spends in contact with its skins to gain colour) and the resultant wine is not grey as the name would suggest but a very, very pale pink colour.
4. Most people don't know that many fine Roses are fermented dry or unsweetened and are far from being high in calories or having a syrupy taste. Nice to know for the waistline!
5. Surprisingly, according to www.provencewineusa.com, French Rose now outsells white wine in France!
It's a great time to learn more and try new styles of rose, so don't miss out on the array wie'll be tasting in-store!
Producer Focus - Château Talbot St-JulienDate published: 08/06/13
From the Saint-Julian appellation on the left bank in Bordeaux this 4th Growth wine is brimming with history and charm. Situated north of Graud-Larose in a remote sea of vines is Château Talbot. Named after John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury who died in the battle of Castillon (1453) commanding an English expeditionary force this magnificent Norman Château is now owned by the Cordier family.
This left bank is big and sturdy but with a soft and elegant centre with good vintages being capable of ageing up to 20 years. With a lovely backbone of plums and blackcurrant's cigar box scents and tobacco are woven through the maturing fruit to make a really classy claret regularly making wines acclaimed higher than its 4th Growth status.
Te Mata Cape Crest SauvignonDate published: 06/06/13
This is a great New Zealand Sauvignon from Te Mata. The wine is fermented with small amounts of Semillon and Sauvignon Gris, resulting in a truly interesting texture.
Sitting between a typical New Zealand Sauvignon and classic white Bordeaux, this creamy white has toasty aromatics and a delicate backdrop of citrus.
This would go really well with seafood and poultry dishes or alternatively as an aperitif on a sunny evening.
If your still unconvinced it just so happens to be on the tasting counter so pop in and try it.
Producer Focus - Chateau Leoville Las Cases, St. JulienDate published: 05/06/13
Leoville Las Cases is widely appreciated as not only one of the finest estates in St. Julien, but the entire Medoc. Classified as a "Second Growth" in 1855 it has attained widespread acclaim for the consistency and sheer quality of its wines throughout the 1980's and 1990's.
Typically a Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot can also be found in its make-up.
Not a wine for drinking in its youth, Las Cases is famous for its dark, dense, tannic and concentrated wines made for extending cellaring. Typically one must wait 10-15 years before enjoying Las Cases in its maturity.
We currently stock the 1990, 1997, and 2005 vintages; each at differing stages of maturity. Try the 97' for a taste of Las Cases in its prime, the 90' for one the greatest vintages of the last 30 years, or the 2005 if you're looking for something to put away for a while.
Party service you say?Date published: 02/06/13
Yes, that's right, at Majestic Mayfair we are not just a boutique wine shop.
We can cater for various events and functions. From start to finish, we provide help and expertise at every stage:
Advice on choosing wines to suit the occasion and budget, including approximate quantities you will need.
A selection of soft drinks, ice and chilling containers.
Free glass hire (we just take a fully refundable deposit)
We also accept returns if you happen to have a few leftover bottles at the end.
So, what are you waiting for!? Get in touch and we'll get your party up and running!
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano ‘La Ciarliana’ now on the tasting counterDate published: 28/05/13
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano hails form vineyards in and around Montepulciano in Tuscany. Made exclusively from Sanqiovese and aged for at least two years, La Ciarliana has been made fro three generations by the Frandiosa family in the hills surrounding Montepulciano. A Juxtaposition of delicate violet, raspberry and spice aromas on the nose. The palate however exhibits powerful fruit yet fine tannic structure and fresh acidty, leading to a conclusion of savoury spice. This wine is perfect with roast meat, full flavoured pasta or cheese. Decanting the wine several hours prior to drinking is advised.
Henri Boillot's MeursaultDate published: 24/05/13
Meursault 2011, Henri Boillot
Fresh to our tasting counter is this delightful Meursault. The Boillot family has been making wines from Cote d'Or for generations and have established a strong range of vineyard holdings.
This particular Meursault is made using grapes from a combination of domaine and partner vineyards. It is a fresher style of Meursault than others around due to being fermented in large oak barrels. This Meursault spends at least eighteen months in barrel before bottling that gives it toasty and buttery flavours on the palate. It is generously textured and a very well made Meursault all round.
Perfect with rich chicken dishes, it is a wine that is not to be missed.
Iconic RoséDate published: 23/05/13
Château de Berne Provence Rosé
When you buy or more
The property this rosé comes from is supposedly one of the landmarks of Provence it is a luxurious hotel and spa resort located within the walls of an 18th century estate and cellars that are teeming with history.
Typical to the delicate Provence style of rosé this stunning example is full of honeysuckle intertwined with summer fruit berries and a hint of rose petals. Really crisp and wonderfully refreshing sit back and relax in the summer sun ….... if it ever comes!
Stunning SangioveseDate published: 19/05/13
Fonterutoli Chianti Classico Mazzei
(When you buy 2 Italian wines)
Fonterutoli is a tiny village in the south of Castellina where the Mazzei family have been making wine since 1435. The soils in the vienyards and so rocky and challenging that wines from Fonterutoli have earned the nickname 'vino del sassi' or 'wine from rocks.'
Despite the challenging growing conditions this wine is brilliant. A really elegant and well proportioned body of bitter red cherries and lighter sweet red fruit notes with an undertone of equally sweet spice. A perfect example of what Chianti has to offer with a wealth of complexity and a long lingering finish.
Perfect partner for the pork on your Sunday roast. Also equally perfect on its own after a hard day when you just need to sit back, relax and imagine you're in the Tuscan sun, looking out on the rolling hills, enjoying this amazing glass of wine there instead!
Sublime RoseDate published: 14/05/13
Domaine Ott Rose
Provence is famed for its delicate and elegant style of rose. Domaine Ott come from Bandol one of the most prestigious areas for Red and Rose arguably making the best quality wine in the whole of Provence.
Made at Chateau Romassan all the grapes for this rose are hand picked, carefully selected and then pressed very lightly. The grapes used are Cinsault, Grenache and Mouvedre and the gentle pressing of these sun kissed red grapes give the rose its delicate coloring.
A beautifully delicate rose with surprising complexity. Notes of freshly cut berries are matched with just a hint of spice for a luscious rounded palate with a long lingering finish. Serve well chilled whilst sitting back and savoring the summer sunshine (When it arrives!!)
Summer Tasting - What to expectDate published: 13/05/13
This Wednesday (May 15th) evening will be our in-store summer tasting event (for which spaces are still available!) Far from being a stuffy, serious evening, this will be an informal gathering, with a chance to meet the team and for us to meet you! We will have a range of fine wines open, including a left bank/right bank Bordeaux comparison, Old World versus New World Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and sparkling wines from Nyetimber to put a bit of fizz into the evening! We will also have a selection of cheeses and nibbles to go along with the wines and you will be provided with tasting sheets so you can keep track of everything you have tried.
It's a fun opportunity to try some great wines and hopefully learn a few things in the process, kicking off at 6.30pm.
We look forward to seeing you there!
On the Tasting Counter - Perfect Pinot Noir!Date published: 11/05/13
Currently on the tasting counter available to taste is Burgogne Pinot Fin 2009, from Domaine Arnoux-Lachoux, a classic Burgundian Pinot Noir. £17.99
With a fresh, ruby hue on the eye, it has an inviting bouquet of ripe cherries with just a hint of something savoury, a peppery spiciness. This leads on to a moderately light, and nicely delicate texture on the palate with a silkiness of red fruits tempered with a dash of acidity. There is also an undercurrent of spiced notes, this is drinking beautifully on its own, but will complement soft cheeses and potentially develop with a couple of years cellaring.
A taste of ItalyDate published: 05/05/13
Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva 2009, Frescobaldi. This wine is a blend of several grape variaties including Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvingnon, produced just outside Florence. It is heavily influenced by the 24 month it spends in oak barriques. A ruby red in color and packed full of blackcurrant, raspberry and a sweet spice. An ideal wine to match with smoky flavors, so if the weather improves a great one for a barbecue and if not it would also work well with cured meats and smoked cheeses. Current price is £14.99 when purchased with any other Italian wine on the 20% offer.
Highlight from the tasting counterDate published: 04/05/13
Meursault Vieilles Vignes, 2010 Le Meurger £24. £20 buy 2 bottles save £8. This is an interesting and very affordable effort from Maison Le Meurger, made from fully hand-picked grapes. With a beautiful golden hue in the glass, this is quite restrained an subtle on the nose for Meursault. Aromas of golden apple and vanilla dominate with a touch of peach and a hint of nuttiness. The palate follows on impressively where this wine opens up and lemon and grapefruit flavours come through and the richness is balanced nicely by a backbone of good acidity. Candied fruits and vanilla notes linger at the end. Would be a good match with roast poultry, creamy chicken and with the acidity it would also pair nicely with grilled fish dishes. A real bargain at £20, come in and try it for yourself!
Wine of the Week: Rustenberg Roussanne 2011Date published: 14/04/13
Rustenberg are one of Stellenbosch's leading producers, specialising in quality Bordeaux blends, rich Chardonnays and elegant Sauvignon Blancs. However in this example Rustenberg have chosen a relatively unknown grape variety to create an unusual but delicious white wine. Roussanne hails from the Rhône Valley where it is the principal constituent of white Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Hermitage Blanc. It tends to produce full-bodied, quite alcoholic wines full of stone fruit flavours and when handled carefully has a clear minerality.
This Roussanne has a delicately aromatic nose of peach, apricot and white flowers. There is a hint of richness but it is surprisingly lean and refreshing. On the palate that richness comes to the fore in a full-bodied peachy mouthful. This is not a wine for the faint-hearted as it has a hefty alcoholic kick. That being said the alcohol is balanced by a fine acidity and rich fruitiness so carries it well.
A great food wine that should be paired with chicken or white fish in a creamy sauce.
Fine Wine Friday: Catena Alta Malbec 2009Date published: 05/04/13
Bodega Catena Zapata are one of Argentina's leading wineries and are the driving force behind Argentina's fairly recent production of Fine Wine. The Catena Alta range are their flagship wines and show all the hallmarks of classy and age-worthy Fine Wines.
The Catena Alta Malbec is produced from Catena's prime vineyards high in the Andes. The strong sunlight, fluctation of day and night temperatures and cool mountain air creates a perfectly balanced Malbec of great ripeness but with an underlying freshness and minerality.
A deep purple still youthful wine with a heady nose of blackcurrants and plums with a background of sweet vanilla spice and tobacco. This is an intense, full-bodied wine with lashings of black fruit and black pepper. The finish is long, sweet and satisfying. This is textbook Argentine Malbec of the highest order.
This is a superb red; complex and satisfying. A must try for any lovers of Malbec or full-bodied reds.
This is a wine destined for steak or roast beef. The perfect red meat wine.
Wine of the Week: Corimbo Ribera del Duero 2009Date published: 04/04/13
Corimbo is a project run by Bodegas Roda from Rioja. Roda are one of the driving forces behind high quality Rioja and their attention to detail and flair has been wonderfully transferred to Ribera del Duero.
Corimbo is always 100% Tempranillo (Tinta del Pais as it is locally known) and the 2009 was aged in only 10% new oak. The resulting wine is more fruit focused than some Ribera del Duero and has a delightful freshness. The nose is intriguing being dominated by dark cherry with a hint of espresso and dark chocolate. The palate is medium-bodied with fresh acidity and fine tannins that suggest a very fine ability to match with rich food. The dark cherry flavours persist alongside some mulberry fruit with an underpinning chalky/saline element. Overall an excellently balanced example of Tempranillo that is starting to drink well now, it is fully deserving of its 89 points from Robert Parker.
£19.99 when you buy 2 Spanish wines or £25.00 single bottle
This is a seriously good Ribera del Duero and for less than £20 is an absolute bargain. For any lovers of Rioja or Claret this is definitely worth a try. Whether familar with the delights of Ribera or not this is a wine that needs trying before this offer ends!
N.B: We have relatively low stocks of this wine available so contact us ASAP if you would like to place an order.
Wines of Spain tasting weekDate published: 04/04/13
From the 5th-11th April we will have a whole host of Spanish wines open to try, including a couple of real treats. With 20% of Spanish wines at the moment now is the time to discover the array of wines this beautiful country has to offer.
Spain has the most area under vine in the world and produces wines of stunning quality and great diversity. All too often people go for Rioja without exploring further into Spain's other regions. We have some exciting wines from Rias Baixas, Toro and Ribera del Duero to show you just what Spain has to offer. Equally we've got some delicious Riojas open from the region's leading producers, including a 1994 Gran Reserva that promises to be quite exciting.
The following wines will be opened during the week:
- Montenovo Godello 2011 £8.79
- Deusa Nai Albarino 2011 £9.99
- Matsu El Recio 2010 £12.79
- Marques de Caceres Reserva Rioja 2008 £11.99
- Muga Seleccion Especial Rioja 2006 £19.99
- Corimbo Ribera del Duero 2009 £19.99
- Conde de Valdemar Gran Reserva Rioja 1994 £16.99
We look forward to seeing you in-store to taste them with us!
We are closed on Easter SundayDate published: 28/03/13
Please note that we will be closed on Easter Sunday, 31 March 2013. We are open our normal Friday hours on Good Friday and our bank holiday hours on Easter Monday.
Easter OffersDate published: 24/03/13
With Easter fast approaching Majestic have released a whole raft of offers to help keep the celebrations flowing over the Bank Holiday weekend. Here in Mayfair we've picked out the following as our favourites:
Louis Roederer Brut Premier £29.00!
Bollinger Special Cuvee £30.00 when you buy 6 bottles (£32.00 single bottle)
Laurent Perrier Rose £47.00
Chateau Chantalouette Pomerol 2007 £14.99 down from £19.99 when you buy 2 bottles! Now open on the tasting counter
Vina Ardanza Reserva Rioja 2004 £17.99 when you buy 2 Spanish wines! Now open on the tasting counter
Saint Clair Pioneer Block Sauvignon Blanc 2012 £14.99 when you buy 2 bottles! Now open on the tasting counter
This is just a selection of the great offers available. It's worth remembering that we still have 20% of South African wines and now have 20% off our whole Spanish selection. There's enough to keep everyone satisfied over the Bank Holiday.
If you want further information on any of our offers or want to place an order give us a call or drop us an email.
Conde de Valdemar Rioja ParcelDate published: 24/03/13
Majestic have been lucky enough to secure a rare parcel of mature Rioja from the renowned bodega Conde de Valdemar. All of the wines are of Gran Reserva level ranging from 1980 up to 1998. These wines have been cellared at the Bodega since bottling and therefore have excellent provenance.
We have a number of different formats available ranging from standard 75cl bottles up to enormous 5l bottles of the '96 and '98 Vendemmia Seleccion Gran Reservas.
The Rioja's have come in 2 classifications. A normal Gran Reserva for a traditionally styled Rioja or the Vendemmia Seleccion which is 50% Tempranillo and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon for a smoother, more modern style.
The opportunity to sample such a variety of mature Rioja doesn't happen often so for any lovers of Spanish wine or mature reds its definitely worth having a go with this parcel.
The staff picks from Mayfair are:
1991 Gran Reserva £14.99 when you purchase 2 Spanish wines
1998 Vendemmia Seleccion Gran Reserva in magnum (£19.99) or in huge 5litre bottles (£75.00)
If you want anymore information on the Rioja parcel give us a call in store or drop us an email.
2004 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza ReservaDate published: 13/03/13
One of the very best Rioja's produced from fruit exclusively grown in the Bodega's 360 hectare vineyard holdings in the Rioja Alta region, and named after one of the region's founding families.
The wine is aged in American oak from the Bodega's own co-operage for 36 months. With a rich nose of dark cherry, vanilla and smoked wood, the palate does not disappoint. This medium bodied wine is packed with flavour of red berries and sweet vanilla leading to a bitter sweet finish. It's no suprise then that is has an outstanding 93 points from Robert Parker. Great value for money, to be enjoyed now or over the next decade.
Mothers Day Reminder!Date published: 03/03/13
Just a reminder that it's Mothers Day next Sunday 10th March.
Why not celebrate with one of our current cracking Champagne deals:
Taittinger NV - £31
Perrier Jouet NV - £25
Ruinart NV - £40
Ruinart Rose - £50
Bollinger NV - £37
Wine ReliefDate published: 02/03/13
Majestic will be supporting the campaign with twelve Wine Relief wines. Between Tuesday 5th February and Monday 18th March, Majestic will donate 10% of the retail price of each bottle sold from the list below to Comic Relief.
Caronne Ste-Gemme 2007 £13.99
Pouilly Vinzelles ‘En Paradis’ Louis Latour 2011 £12.99
Lirac Domaine des Garrigues 2011 £8.99
Ch de Pennautier ‘Terroirs d’Altitude’ 2009 £8.99
Domaine de l’Aigle Pinot Noir 2010 £9.99
Domaine de l’Aigle Chardonnay 2011 £9.99
Dr L Riesling Loosen 2011 £7.99
Bardolino ‘Naiano’ Allegrini 2011 £8.49
Beringer Founders Chardonnay 2010 £10.99
BVC Cabernet Sauvignon Peter Lehmann 2010 £9.99
Cape Mentelle Cabernet Merlot 2010 £14.99
Testimonio Luigi Bosca 2010 £10.99
Beer of the Week: Anchor Steam BeerDate published: 18/02/13
Anchor Steam is one of the United States leading craft beers and has recently started being stocked by Majestic. It is a hoppy delight that has quickly become a staff favourite. It's unusual name comes from the 19th century term for beer produced on the West Coast of the US, which became naturally carbonated due to the primitive conditions and high temperatures of fermentation. Whilst brewing practices at Anchor Steam have developed since those days they still follow traditional methods resulting in a thick, creamy head and a satisfying rich flavour.
This is a cracking craft beer and a must try for any beer lovers.
£12.99 for 6
Buy 4x6 and save £12- £39.96
Wines of New Zealand Tasting WeekDate published: 15/02/13
We've got some great wines from New Zealand open all this week that showcase the variety and quality that the Kiwis have to offer. Although Sauvignon Blanc has been the driving force behind NZ's commercial wine success there is a lot more to their viticultural landscape. From beguiling Pinot Noirs to luscious Pinot Gris' New Zealand has become a country that satisfies any wine lovers palate.
Come in-store on Saturday 16th and taste what this beautiful country has to offer.
The Spain and Italy Week - Our FavouritesDate published: 10/02/13
Our week of free spain and italy tastings is now drawing to a close. Here are my two favourite picks from the selection we had on offer:
Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2009/2010 Ripasso La Casetta
Origin From the beautiful hilly villages east of Lake Garda, Ripasso wines have had a portion of the fermented, dried-skins from Amarone added to them. Valpolicella Ripasso therefore combines the power and class of the Amarone with the bright fruit of the classic Valpolicella.
Taste A beautiful deep ruby hue and lots of almost confected cherry, plum and berry fruits complemented by vanilla hints. Fine and rounded, a velvety smooth palate bursting with intense and complex flavours.
Enjoy The perfect companion for all types of meat and seasoned cheeses.
Deusa Nai Albariño 2011 Marqués de Cáceres, Rías Baixas
Origin Deusa Nai means 'mother goddess', and is the name given to a goddess representing the fertility of the earth in Galician folklore. The Albariño grape is equally ingrained in the local culture, accounting for 90% of the wine production in Galicia's Rías Baixas appellation.
Taste An intensely floral bouquet covers a backdrop of citrus and stone fruit aromas. A friendly palate of apricot and lime flavours, with a satisfyingly full texture and refreshing acidity.
Enjoy Try this with a baby octopus ceviche
The wines will be available to taste for one more day - so if you have time tomorrow pop in and taste the, before we move onto New Zealand - we can't wait!
Premium Hennessy Cognacs now availableDate published: 07/02/13
A few days ago, we had the opportunity to taste some of the top cognacs produced by Henessy. It was a real treat so we thought we would share our thoughts on them with you. If you're looking for a perfect gift, or something special for your drinks cabinet you can find the prestige cognac that is best suited to your palate.
The style of the three we tried were all dramatically different. The Henessy XO a big, meaty beast of a cognac, the Paradis delightfully elegant and delicate, the Paradis Imperial maintaining elegance while striking a perfect balance with incredible depth.
Hennessy XO – £140
Hennessy Paradis- £550
Hennessy Paradis Imperial- £1450
Richard Hennessy - £2250
All these cognacs are available in a very limited quantity – especially the Paradis and Paradis Imperial. Worldwide demand is exceeding the quantity produced, so if you'd like a chance to experience the bottled quality and history of these incredible cognacs, make sure you snap one up soon.
Wine Trivia #1Date published: 12/01/13
Now that we have moved into the New Year we thought it would be a good time to start with a bit of wine trivia. Each week we will bring you a fact or two that aims to capture your interest and occasionally surprise you (and us!).
Did you know that there are over 10,000 different varieties of wine grapes that exist with over 1000 grown in Italy. Much of these are simple table wines but they taste fantastic in the right setting!
A crop of newly planted grape vines takes around 5 years to grow before it can be harvested. In quality wine regions, where winemakers are aiming to produce some of the most prestigious wines in the world, vines are often left for 10 years or more before being used for their main wine. This is where the second wines, in Bordeaux in particular, have benefitted as the young, yet high quality, vines are used to produce these good value and increasingly popular wines.
Top 5 Ways to Match Food and WineDate published: 12/01/13
Taken from the Majestic Blog
Let’s kick off the New Year with some basic help when food and wine matching. I thought it’d be a good idea to share this top 5 with you as it’ll give those New Year healthy dishes an added flavour dimension… Top 5 Matching Maxims
1. Wines should complement, not dominate food. A delicate fish such as steamed sea bream will be overpowered by red wines.
2. Choose a wine that matches the most dominant flavour in a dish A full-flavoured sauce may well be a bigger influence than the main ingredient itself.
3. Complex wines for simple dishes; simple wines for complex dishes See this rule of thumb in action with paella. All those rich, flavour-packed ingredients require is a crisp, simple white wine.
4. Match the wine to the body, texture and flavour profile of the dish Cooking method affects the weight of a dish. Poaching and steaming presents meat or fish at its most delicate. Grilling, frying or roasting adds texture and caramelised flavours.
5. Always look out for local food specialities from a particular winemaking region This is especially true in Europe. For instance, the high acidity found in many Italian reds marries well with the high acidity in tomato sauces used in pasta dishes.
I’ll be trying to cut down on the indulgence and eat out a lot less this month too, so if the mood takes me I’ll spend more on wine for home than I usually would. Better food, better wine. Win win!
Christmas Delivery InformationDate published: 03/12/12
December is a very busy time for deliveries, and we will be keeping this page updated on a daily basis with our current turnaround times and schedule.
Our delivery schedule is extremely busy and filling up fast. We are now full for this weeks deliveries but can organise collections. We still have plenty of delivery slots available over the coming weekend and on Monday 24th December.
Trade Customer?Date published: 06/10/12
If you're shopping for a business please contact us on 020 7491 8433 and we can put you in touch with our dedicated Commercial team. We offer exclusive wines, free delivery and credit terms.
Need wine in a hurry? Call us now and to discuss your needs
Vega SiciliaDate published: 16/08/12
Before the late 70's Spain's highest acclaimed wines were few and far between. Vega Sicilia was unknown, and few people knew of the place where such a wine came from.
The Duero, the river which when flows through Portugal becomes the Douro famous for it's Port production. It's the low lying areas around the Duero where age old techniques and traditions take their place in Spain's wine making history. The wines of today are very different from those back then. The wines were of high alcohol, the reds in particular high in body and tannin, while most whites resembled that of oxidised sherry.
Vega Sicilia, arguably one of Spain's most famous wine estates descends from this region, the Valbuena de Duero. The vines being planted here during the 1860's at roughly the same time as in Rioja, however here mostly Bordeaux varieties were planted with only small quantities of Garnach and tempranillo found.
Recently added to our selection in store we are please to showcase three wines from Vega Sicilia.
Firstly the Valbuena 2007 at £110 per bottle. Made from the estates younger vines and fermented in stainless steel. It is aged for only 3 years in a combination of new and old oak. It has a garnet/cherry red colour and has exceptional softness and ripeness of fruit.
Vega Sicilia Unico 2002 at £250 per bottle: This is considered one of the world's greatest wines. It represents a benchmark in both Ribera del Duero and Spanish wine making. It's made primarily from Tempranillo and undergoes a lengthy 10 years maturation before release, 7 of which are in cask before bottling. This is a complex wine, with spice and black fruit, it has a savoury yet harmonious structure that is second to none.
Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial NV at £265 per bottle: This is quite an interesting wine from the Vega Sicilia estate as it incorporates the tradition of blending reserve wines to create a 'house style' and brings together the benefits of multiple vintages. Vega Sicilia create a new blend each year and each release is expressive and aromatic, and although mature wines are used in the blend the final wine is still capable of aging for many years after release.
Why doesn't wine taste of grapes #1 - MaloDate published: 28/07/12
Malo-lactic fermentation is one of the key phrases one uses and hears in relation to wine-making, referring to a process that dramatically affects the flavour of a wine, but what is it exactly? Taking a step back; without fermentation, wine would just not be the same...it would be a non-alcoholic grape juice, tasting remarkably like the grapes it was made from. Why then, does wine very rarely taste like the grape juice and the grapes from which it was made?
The answer lies initially with fermentation, converting glucose (sugar) into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This process usually takes place aerobically (in the presence of oxygen) so some of the flavour compounds will develop due to contact with the air. This is not however the Malo-lactic fermentation referred to above, but alcoholic fermentation, Malo-lactic (or Malo) comes next, where the real taste changes occur.
The key to what Malo is and what it does is in the name - it is a fermentation that converts malic acid (the kind found in the skin of apples) into lactic acid (as found in milk). Malo does not change the alcoholic strength of the wine, as it is a bacterial fermentation, rather than alcoholic, the only change is in the flavour of the wine and the 'feel' of the acidity on the palate.
Wines that have undergone Malo have a softer mouth-feel, and often have a creamy or buttery aroma. Probably the best contrast between wines that have undergone Malo and not can be found in Burgundy; Chablis is a cooler climate region typified by racy green acid wines made from the Chardonnay grape, and Meursault makes wines also from Chardonnay that are rich, opulent, buttery, creamy and heavy. Part of this flavour difference comes from the Malo-lactic fermentation. Another good, if slightly off-piste example of the contrast given by Malo-lactic fermentation is in two wines made by Cloudy Bay, from the Sauvignon Blanc grape variety. The classic Cloudy Bay Sauvignon is very vibrant, racy, chocked full of citrus fruits, grass...even a hint of asparagus, whereas the Te Koko Sauvignon has a toasty, creamy texture, aromas of stone fruits and butter.
Malo is not limited to white wines, as almost all reds are softened by this process, although the flavour differences are not as apparent.
The next step that imparts flavour into newly made wine is maturation, but that's a topic for anther day.
Napa Valley in a nut-shellDate published: 24/07/12
With it's long sunny days and warm climate it's no surprise that the Napa Valley produces some of the best wines in the US if not the world. All manor of grape varieties are grown here due to the complex variances in soil type and temperature change. In the warmer area's of the northern and central areas of the region we find the most popular red varieties such as Cabernet and Zinfandel, with the Rutherford and Oakville vineyards making some of the best you can find here. Further south in the cooler climate the chardonnay, and the pinot are grown, and in recent years this area has also become a front runner in producing some of the best sparkling wines to be found outside of Champagne. Producers such as Louis Roederer and Mumm both produce some excellent examples.
Two of the best reds we have from this region are:
Dominus Napanook 2008, Christian Moueix, Napa Valley
"The 2008 Napanook (84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot) may be one of the greatest Napanooks made. It is a deeper, richer, more intense wine with full body, an endearing texture and a long, pure finish. These two are “take your pick” vintages, but wine enthusiasts would probably be remiss in not having both 2007 and 2008 in their cellars". 93 points. Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate. Available at £35.00
Decoy Zinfandel 2009, Duckhorn, Napa Valley
Duckhorn Vineyards was established in 1976 by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn, originally focusing on Bordeaux varieties. They have since embraced other grapes such as Zinfandel here, and grown to incorporate seven estates, representing the Napa Valley's various microclimates. A generous and straightforward wine, with a defined nose of blueberry, cherry and loganberry fruit, accented by soft vanilla oak. The palate is more robust, with the lush fruit framed by firm tannins. A great accompaniment to the savoury flavours of game, venison or duck confit. £19.99
The sun's out... Time for some Rosé?Date published: 20/07/12
So ditch those umbrellas, and dust off those barbecues, as it finally look as if we're getting some decent weather, for a few days at least! So, what to drink when the sun's out I hear you ask?
By far some of the most popular Rosé of recent times has been those of the Provence region. This area lies to the south west of France, to the west of Marseille and although some good red and white wines are produced here the main focus is for Rosé. The soil consists of mainly limestone and shale, the cool sea breeze allows the grapes (mostly Grenache, syrah, Carignan and Cinsault) to ripen perfectly and and not become over cooked. The wines are typically a soft salmon pink, and although the colour maybe soft, the body and power of the wine can be be quite substantial, along with the flavour intensity often quite bold. Flavour characteristics usually consist of soft berry fruit, ie recurrent, raspberry and strawberry, some even say they can taste the salty air from the sea in the wine.
The appellation itself was created in 1977 after it became a popular destination with French holiday makers, the norm for Rosé back then was strong under flavoured wines with low acidity. Since then though the standards have increased dramatically. Today there are over 400 producers most of which still make quality rosé along with soft supple reds.
A relatively new appellation, the Coteaux d'Aix en Provence was established in 1985 after many high quality wines were produced in the area, lying slightly in-land to the north of the region it has been producing excellent wines ever since. Our rosé selection is literally brimming with mouth watering wines from the Provence region, a perfect partner for those warm summer days we've seen so little of this year. With the weather set to stay warm and dry for a while why not come down and try some. A perfect example of such a wine is:
The AIX Rosé 2010 magnum, Coteaux d'Aix en Provence.
Grape: Grenache, Cinsault, Shiraz
An award-winning wine from one of the region's largest and most prestigious wineries, Domaine de la Grande Séouve, who have
established AIX as perhaps the definitive Provence rosé. Boldly brought to you in a party-ready magnum!
Unashamedly vibrant and summery, with a bright pink colour and a delicate balance of crisp acidity and soft, ripe summer fruit.
A superb choice for any event, and the perfect match for canapés or sea-food.
Perfect Puligny!Date published: 14/07/12
When I think "Burgundy", I instinctively think "Puligny".
With Burgundy arguably producing some of the worlds best wines I wanted to take a closer look at one of my favourite regions of the area. Sandwiched neatly between Chassagne Montrachet and Meursault, the Puligny appellation with it's stony soil and good drainage on the sloping hills tends to lend the wine great minerality and freshness. The chardonnay grapes ripen very slowly here and retain good acidity which means many of the wines can be kept for many years after release. With very subtle oak influence, we find a wine with an exceptional lightness of touch and with incredible elegance. Compare this to it's neighbours and you'll find that both, especially the wines of Meursault, are fuller and rounder, and of a richer styles. Although fantastic wines in their own right, in my opinion they lack a little of the Puligny's elegance and grace. Of course this is due to the heavier hand of the oak and lees stiring, and is of the style of the region, however something tends to allways draw me back to the crisp, fresh citrusy style of the Puligny Montrachet every time. With some of the best producers in the world here owning some of the top vineyards, it's no wonder that they can command such high prices, but that's not to say you can't find that fantastic style at a fraction of the cost of say the Leflaive 1er Cru's if you're prepared to look. A fantastic example of this is the Puligny-Montrachet 2010 Domaine Henri Boillot at £35
Grown in the Les Enseignéres, Les Charmes and Les Houllières areas of Puligny-Montrachet. The wine is fermented and aged in only 25% new French oak, without any lees-stirring, resulting in a crisp white wine with greater freshness and focus than many similar white Burgundies. To be enjoyed over the next 2-3 years.
Rich, opulent, hedonistic and gorgeous!Date published: 13/07/12
The Côte d'Or, home to wines that make any avowed ABC'er (Anything But Chardonnay) weep, is full of very diverse, interesting and seductive wines. None more so than the home of richness, nuttiness and power; Meursault.
The name Côte d'Or translates as 'The Golden Slope', where the limestone topsoil sits atop ancient fault lines, planted with wines up the slopes to provide the grapes with the maximum exposure to Burgundy's sunlight.
Meursault sits between the predominately red producing regions of Volnay and Monthéle to the North, and Puligny Montrachet to the South, where the wines, made from grapes that are planted without break between the two communes, change in style from Opulent and nutty, to Puligny's more lively wine with an apricot aroma atop the classic peaches and cream.
In many ways, the very rich style, with an intense and thick mid-palate, nutty, creamy and soft texture and a powerful fruit and spice led finish, Meursault is the archetypical and paradine of Chardonnay that the rest of the world endeavours to emulate.
Sadly, the small size of producers and the intensity of harvesting the grapes and vinification takes its toll on the price, most 'village' Meursault starts at about £20...but when you get a good one, the rewards are great.
Two to try,
Louis Jadot Meursault 2008 £25
Louis Latour Meursault 'Château de Blagny' Premier Cru 2009 £30
Bolly, darling!Date published: 11/07/12
Sometimes, someone else has said something so succinctly, eloquently and perfectly that one cannot improve on it. Madame Lilly Bollinger once said :
"I drink it when I'm happy, and when I'm sad.
Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone.
When I have company I consider it obligatory.
I trifle with it if I'm not hungry
and drink it when I am.
Otherwise I never touch it, unless I am thirsty."
What can one really say, every situation is covered, every box ticked...I can almost hear the sound of corks popping whenever this is recited...
'Bolly' Special Cuvée is probably my favourite champagne because of its rich and toasty flavours, weighty mid-palate and a long, elegant and seductive finish.
James Bond also has supped Bollinger on many occasions...007 is a big fan of the Grande Année Vintage, and occasionally drinks RD, the Grande Année that has been left on its lees (the yeast cells that have provided the secondary fermentation) for much longer.
The Bollinger family also includes two Rosé champagnes, a non-vintage and a Grande Année vintage, staying true to the powerful yet elegant style of the house.
Maybe tonight will be a Bolly night...
Pinot Pinot everywhereDate published: 09/07/12
Some say it is the most seductive of grape varieties, other that it is the most fickle...Vintners often say anything that can go wrong, will with Pinot...
Why is it my favourite (and that of the characters in Sideways)? First of all, the thin-skined nature of the grape does not impart that much tannin, nor extract in the wine, so fruit flavours really come to the fore. Secondly, generally Pinot Noir is grown in cooler climates, so the flavour specturm rarely reaches jammy and cooked, rather staying in the lighter and more floral aroma characters, along with red and black cherries. Thirdly, Pinot is a rather high (for a red wine) acid grape variety, so the flavours are fresh and reviving, which also means that it is a fantastic partner to food. Fourthy, Pinot Noir often acquires an etherial quality with age, savoury and smokey aromas beguile whilst the seductive fruit on the palate caresses, and all this over a much shorter duration that Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot based wines.
There are many more reasons why I love Pinot Noir, I shall not go into them today, but one last thought is that the typicity and flavour of where the grapes are grown influence the flavours profoundly, resulting in very different flavours across all the regions where it is grown. Generally, New World Pinot is more fruity, Old World (ie Burgundian) is more savoury and becomes much more earthy with age.
A few highlights - Martinborough Vineyards (Martinborough, New Zealand) £24.00 when you buy 2+ NZ
- Quarty Reef (Central Otago, New Zealand) £14.99 when you buy 2+ NZ
- Louis Latour Aloxe Corton (Aloxe Corton, Burgundy, France) £28
- Nicolas Potel Pommard (Pommard, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy, France) £19.99
Margaux Vs St EmillionDate published: 07/07/12
This week on the tasting counter we have two Bordeaux heavyweights fighting it out to win the highly contested title of 'Wine of the Week'. In the red corner we have the sublime Super Second of Cantenac Brown, the damson-perfumed Margaux 'Brio de Cantenac 2007'. In the blue, the Grand Cru 'Chataeu Grand Corbin 1999' may be a more mature St Emillion, but it still has plenty of fight left in it. Will the silky, seductive Margaux sneak into first place or will the lush, rich St Emillion wrestle the trophy from the Brio's hands?
The Brio de Cantenac isn't pulling any punches in this faithful expression of Margaux wines; an elegantly structured claret with a typical heady perfume of violets and cedar, this well-balanced wine is backed up by lashings of blackcurrent and bramble fruit. A wine of firm, taut character.
The Grand Corbin, opts for brute force over the wiles of the Brio, offering lush, rich fruit of plum jam and cherry pie. A fully mature wine, its tannins may have softened a bit around the edges but the Corbin still has a bit of a bite. 12-14 months aging in Vosges and Allier oak adds a little bit of spice - but is it enough to deliver a winning performance?
In the end, the beguiling Brio de Cantenac edges forward and smacks the Grand Corbin to the ground. That's not to say it didn't put up a good fight - the reddish tinged Corbin shows that it's had plenty of experience in the ring, serving up plenty of secondary characteristics with ample, ripe fruit - but the elegance and potential of the Brio has us cheering it on. Already delicious, the Brio could be laid to rest for a few more years before coming back, firing on all cylinders. The Grand Corbin, on the other hand, may be heading towards retirement. At very different places in their careers, the Brio de Cantenac is our Staff Wine of the Week and the Chateau Grand Corbin limps home with its dignity in tact.
Both wines are available to taste on our Tasting Counter.
Brio de Cantenac 2007 - £19.99, £18.99 when you buy 2 bottles as part of a mixed case
Chateau Grand Corbin 1999 - £19.99, £15.99 when you buy 2 bottles as part of a mixed case
Deliveries over the OlympicsDate published: 05/07/12
We are open and delivering as usual over the duration of the Olympics - albeit with some limitations due to road closures and restrictions on stopping.
If you need anything, give us a call in store and we will do our upmost to fulfill our normal customer service. Please give as much notice and flexibility as possible.
Any questions or queries, let us know and we'll do our best!
Louis Roederer Vintage Champagne 2004Date published: 19/05/12
We are really excited to have newly in, Louis Roederer Vintage Champagne 2004. It's rich, full-bodied and elegant and is everything a champagne should be and more. It has a firm structure and is a champagne for those who enjoy a more complex style. We recommend you visit soon while stocks last!
Californ-I.A.!!Date published: 09/05/12
We have four great new wines in from California which we heartily recommend. Two from Flowers Vineyard and two Caymus wines.
Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 is world class, rare and perfectly formed. From the Napa valley it displays all that is good about Californian wines. Deep, almost crimson in colour, with concentrated aromas of cassis and plum on the nose and dark berry fruits, ripe currant and cocoa, framed by toasty oak on the palate. It's incredibly rich and full-bodied with great structure and silky tannins, and a long velvety finish. (£90 per bottle).
Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 is a more affordable option but still has powerful aromas of blackberry and dark cherry, with notes of vanilla, cocoa and rose petal. It has incredible structure and finesse. Drink it over the next ten years. (£52 per bottle).
Flowers Vineyard is a boutique winery located very close to the coast in the Sonoma region, where they make a classy Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (2007 vintages).
The Pinot Noir has classic Burgundian influences, from a range of Burgundy pinot clones. 90% estate-grown grapes are hand-picked and sorted, de-stemmed and wild-fermented in traditional small open-top vats. Finish comes from 11 months in new and old French oak. (£45.00 per bottle)
The Chardonnay is is 100% barrel fermented and spends 10 months in French oak. There are aromas of lemon drop, pear, apricot and wet stone minerality. This vintage shows crispness and intense citrus fruit on the palate with roundness in the mouth feel. (£45.00 per bottle)
Great British Fizz!Date published: 27/04/12
With Summer (hopefully) just round the corner, what better time to stock up on some celebratory bubbles? And with the Jubilee, the Olympics, and Wimbledon only a short time away why not go British!? Recently stocked sparkling wine from the popular Nyetimber estate at £24.99, a great drop, and excellent value. And not to forget the Chapel Down Estate range is available with prices starting from £14.99 for the Chapel Down NV Brut. This is a superb fresh and fruity style, and would be the perfect choice for those long summer evenings watching the tennis, or taking along to a picnic and enjoying with some strawberries and cream.
Without doubt these elegant, well made sparkling wines easily rival their more established French cousins in Champagne, but why not taste for yourself?
Will Andy Murray do it this year? Or will we come top of the tables in the Olympic Games? Maybe not, but lets hope the rain holds off at least, and if it doesn't? Well, you'll have a nice glass of tasty English fizz to console yourself with.
Château Palmer Date published: 19/04/12
Arguably the classic third growth Margaux, Château Palmer is rolling into Majestic Mayfair in just a few short days. This small parcel of superb Bordeaux consists of Palmer 1989, 1986 and 1985, three great vintages that offer seductive, luscious dark fruits with typical hints of cedar and cigar, cassis, with a deep concentration of flavour. All three are drinking beautifully now with the 1985 reaching peak maturity now. Alongside these mature vintages we have a few cases of the 1996, a vintage that fared best for Bordeaux's left bank appellations - and it shows here in Palmer's expression. Drinking well now, or over the next five years, it won't disappoint.
Château Palmer 1985 - £210
Château Palmer 1986 - £210
Château Palmer 1989 - £395
Château Palmer 1996 - £210
Limited availability - call now on 020 7491 8433 to reserve!
New style sampling at Majestic MayfairDate published: 18/01/12
What a way to kick start the new year than by having a brand new sampling machine and, as always, tasting is free! Next time you're visiting us, you can expect to try these amazing winter warmers;
Cheval des Andes 2007(Cheval Blanc/Las Terrazas), Numanthia 2007, Afincado Malbec2007 and Afincado Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 both by Terrazas de los Andes.
Ridge VineyardsDate published: 31/10/11
This week in-store we've got our hands on some of the finest wine that America has to offer, courtesy of California's "Ridge Vineyards". Famous for their triumph at the 1976 Judgement of Paris, achieving 1st place with their Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon, Ridge wines surely are the champions of champions. Get your hands on their 2007 Monte Bello for just £100! If this delicious, competitively-priced wine is a bit rich for your blood, their second wines offer even more bang for your buck;
Ridge Geyserville Zinfandel, 2009, Alexander Valley at £30 - 94 points, Robert Parker, the Wine Advocate.
Ridge Lytton Springs 2009, Dry Creek Valley at £30 - 95 points, Robert Parker, the Wine Advocate.
Ridge Estate Cabernet 2008, Santa Cruz Mountains at £35.
Wines shipped, world-wideDate published: 25/06/11
If your visiting us from overseas and you like the look of some of our wines then why don't you take advantage of our shipping facility. We can get your wines to you within days, and to make it even easier we can help you claim back the VAT. Just ask staff in store for more information.
- Store Events(2)
Spanish Tasting Week
4 April 2014 - 10 April 2014
We have some fantastic offers on Spanish wines this Spring with some new and interesting wines to try in-store.
Open to all
South African Tasting Week
7 March 2014 - 13 March 2014
This week we'll have a range of South African wines open for you to try at your leisure (and for free).
Open to all
- Store Tasting(0)
What we're tasting today...
Meet the team...
Daniel ManagerI joined Majestic in 2009 and have had the pleasure of working in some of our busiest central London stores. I believe that perfect wine exists for every occasion so struggle to choose absolute favorites. I am currently completing my WSET Diploma and have a great deal of experience finding the perfect companion for your chosen menu. If it’s your first time at Majestic, let us start at the tasting counter and I will pick you six wines that will blow your mind!
Drew Assistant ManagerHaving spent two years in Canada and Switzerland as a ski instructor, I felt it was time to grow up and get a proper job, joining Majestic in April 2012. I don't have a favorite wine per se, but I am a huge fan of the Rhone and big Aussie reds, so tend to rely on them if I'm feeling indecisive! I'm currently sitting the WSET Diploma, so the learning process of the fascinating world of wine continues.
Joseph Trainee ManagerAs the newest member of the team and I am thrilled to be working in Majestic Mayfair. I have lived in South Africa and and the south of France, which probably explains my particular passion for the wines of these regions. Whether it be a Pinotage from the Western Cape or a Sauternes from Bordeaux. I am in the process of completing my WSET level 3 so feel free to pop in and join me in an educational journey as we explore the most exiting liquids on earth.
Toby Trainee ManagerI have just joined the team at Mayfair having worked in the Chiswick store before. I am enjoying discovering Italian wine at the moment especially from the south of the country, however it is hard to beat a crisp delicate white from Fruili or rich powerful Piedmont reds from the north.
Tomasz DriverHailing from the picturesque city of Chorzów in Poland it's Tom who makes sure your wine reaches you on time and in pristine condition. He enjoys motorbiking, snowboarding, travelling and nothing better than sipping on a cool pint of Peroni after a hard day's delivery driving.